WINGS by Danielle Steel


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 From the Steel (The Gift, p. 504) clichÇ workshop, the romances of a good-hearted, gorgeous girl from Illinois farm country who leaves Dad's tiny airport to become a glamorous aviatrix between World Wars I and II. There's a necessary reference to the workings of planes but nothing to tax the reader bent on romance in this tale of Cassie O'Malley (one of Steel's stunning redheads), who has to fight the prejudice of father Pat, who believes women belong on the ground. Cassie grows up grease-monkeying around O'Malley's Airport and sneaking in flights with brother Chris (who doesn't care for planes). Then she secretly begins lessons with her father's WW I pal, Nick Galvin (when Cassie was a baby he arrived as ``a fresh- faced kid...with a thatch of dark hair hanging into his blue eyes''). Cassie at 17 turns down the local grocer and falls in love with Nick, who returns her affection but thinks he's too old for her. Enter aircraft tycoon Desmond Williams, with ``wavy blond hair and movie star good looks''--always a bad sign. Desmond offers Cassie a great job testing his planes, but it also involves publicity: press conferences, Hollywood escorts, smashing clothes, etc. Then, despite the obvious dangers in the war-bound 1940s, Desmond plans a world tour for Cassie. Nick (about to join the RAF) says no; a quarrel ensues, and Cassie marries Desmond thinking she loves him (``her silvery flesh shimmered next to his in the moonlight''). Cassie makes the tour with a (doomed) good friend as co-pilot; a crash on a desert island is followed by Pearl Harbor heroics. At the close Cassie joins an Air Force women's plane- ferrying unit (nicely researched by Janet Dailey in Silver Wings, Santiago Blue, 1984) and the lovers collide in each other's arms. For Steel fans, soothingly predictable; for others, deadly as a wait in baggage claims. (First printing of 1,000,000; Literary Guild dual main selection)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-30605-9
Page count: 408pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1994


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